German discount grocer Lidl, which is opening its first stores in the United States this summer, has won a legal challenge from a U.S. competitor.
A federal judge on July 25 denied a request by Cincinnati-based The Kroger Co. that Lidl stop selling items under its Preferred Selection label, which Kroger argued is too similar to its own Private Selection label.
In a lawsuit filed June 30, Kroger said Lidl was trying to benefit by causing confusion between its brand and Kroger’s, and that Lidl’s brand dilutes Kroger’s brand.
But U.S. District Court Judge John Gibney ruled that while the logos look “somewhat alike,” “private” and “preferred” have different definitions, according to a story in the Richmond Times-Dispatch.
"I think the public interest lies in competition," he said, according to the story. "I don’t find they have an identical or similar meaning."
Lidl plans to open 100 stores on the East Coast by Summer 2018. Kroger, the nation’s largest supermarket chain, has almost 3,000 stores under several banners.